It’s finally going to happen, but don’t expect it to be easy.
Get ready to see a lot of changes at the intersection of Metropolitan Avenue and Fresh Pond Road — and detours around the area — as the Department of Transportation (DOT) finally begins work on the Metropolitan Avenue Bridge over the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) on the Ridgewood/Middle Village border.
One of the biggest changes drivers will see is that 60th Lane between Eliot and Metropolitan avenues will be converted from a northbound road to a southbound road.
During the first stage of construction, DOT will place temporary concrete barriers down the center of Metropolitan Avenue to the middle of the intersection at Fresh Pond Road and north of the intersection along Fresh Pond Road.
Lanes will be reduced to one lane in each direction on both Metropolitan Avenue and Fresh Pond Road, and a temporary sidewalk will be created through the old Mobil gas station to allow pedestrians access around the construction site.
The contractor will be installing the shielding over the LIRR below the bridge deck. Once the shielding is in place, the bridge deck will be removed, any repairs to the underlying structure will be made, and the new deck will be installed.
There will be 24/7 Traffic Enforcement Agents posted at these six locations around the area:
- The intersection of Fresh Pond Road and Metropolitan Avenue;
- 60th Lane and Metropolitan Avenue;
- Eliot Avenue and 60th Lane;
- Eliot Avenue and Fresh Pond Road;
- Eliot Avenue and 69th Street; and
- 69th Street and Metropolitan Avenue.
Viral messaging signs (VMS) to alert drivers of any and all changes and detours will be placed at Forest and Metropolitan avenues, Metropolitan Avenue and 64th Street, Fresh Pond Road and Palmetto Street, and Fresh Pond Road and 60th Avenue.
Trucks and buses will not be able to make right turns southbound onto Metropolitan Avenue from Fresh Pond Road, while cars, trucks and buses will not be able to make left turns at the same location. Trucks and buses will also not be able to make right turns northbound onto Metropolitan Avenue from Fresh Pond Road.
Buses and trucks will be prohibited from making left or right turns on Fresh Pond Road from Metropolitan Avenue westbound, while left hand turns for trucks and buses will be banned on Fresh Pond Road from Metropolitan Avenue eastbound.
The duration of Stage 1 is expected to last six months, and Stage 2A is set to begin promptly after Stage 1 is complete.
The DOT says it is their goal to have Stage 1 completed before the MTA’s work on the M train begins in summer 2017, which will involve shuttle buses traveling along Metropolitan Avenue.